The Valais in southwest Switzerland, 90 minutes from Geneva, is the sunshine Canton, claiming in excess of 300 days of sun each year. There are more high peaks in the Valais than in any other Alpine region, nearly 50 over 13,000 feet.
Historically the Valais has been one of the most popular areas with international buyers, who are enticed by some of the biggest names in the Alps: Zermatt, Crans Montana, Verbier and Saas Fee. It includes the Four Valleys, Switzerland’s largest linked ski region with 400 km of pistes.
Verbier is the most famous resort in the Four Valleys, a glitzy party town with worldwide reach, but others that share the same slopes include purpose-built north-facing Nendaz and Veysonnaz where old wood Mazots meld with a more modern ski station, connected by the high-speed lift to Verbier.
Further along the valley, two hours from Geneva, Grimentz is in the separate Val d’Anniviers region. Grimentz is an idyllic, south-facing fifteenth century village linked to neighbouring Zinal in 2014 by a new cable car.